Log In   ·   Become A Member

East End-Based Musician Paying Homage To Jacques Brel

Nicole Barylski

Alfredo Merat, a regular on the East End music scene since the '90s, wants to introduce the Hamptons to one of his musical influences - Jacques Brel.

On Saturday, October 15th, Merat will present Brel by Alfredo at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Starting at 8 p.m., Merat will familiarize attendees with the iconic Belgian singer, songwriter, actor who was known for both composing and showcasing his literate and theatrical songs, gaining him a loyal following worldwide.

"I was raised in France and when I picked up the guitar, there's a couple of songs I learned by Brel, and then he died so young that basically I kept on with my music career in other ways and came to this country and not forgot about him, but left it to the side," Merat told Hamptons.com. "I was there when the bombing happened - that's why I decided I should do a revival of him and bring him back to life."

During the Hamptons performance, the musician will share Brel's songs in French with an English Narrative. "I think the audience is going to be surprised because nobody really knows who Brel truly was as a performer. They know about his work, some of his songs were translated, and sung by Frank Sinatra. I think people are really familiar with Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris - which was a Broadway show where his music and some of his songs were translated and sang - but I want people to discover him and get to know him better with his French songs, who he was on stage, how he performed his songs," he noted. "What they can expect is a little more of a theater, play - it's body language. A lot of his songs were incredible, as far as the words, and since obviously not everybody speaks French, I've decided to bring in a narrator with me and help me a little bit to tell the story of who he was, about what the songs were about and how it touched me when I was young and how it touched France and many people."

He wants the show to spark a curiosity about the talented performer. "I'm hopeful that people want to know more about him and take a look at really, truly who the man was, as far as a performer because he was unbelievable - scary, in terms of his abilities. In the 1960s he was very ahead of his time," Merat said. "Many people, when they look at how he was writing and what he was writing, began to incorporate that in their own works - David Bowie and many others."

Like Brel, Merat's own musical career started young. "I was in Spain visiting one of my uncles who had a guitar on the wall and I said, "Can I touch it?" That's how it happened," he explained. "I've been performing for 40 years, since I was 15-years-old, at times more than others. There's been breaks, you know? Life, children, business, work, but ultimately, I've always been performing."

If you seek out live music on the East End, chances are you've seen Merat. "In the Hamptons, I've been performing since the Wild Rose years, 1997 I think - that's when I began to work a lot more - the music scene, the restaurants, the cafes, the parties, the private events," he noted.

Merat thinks this is the perfect venue to pay homage to Brel at. "Bay Street is amazing because the sound is so incredible," he shared. "To do something which is audience not ambiance, as much as I love to play at restaurants and other venues, when you have an audience I think it's terrific. You can do a lot more with the music and performance. So, I'm very excited about Bay Street. It's always one of my favorite places."

Tickets to Brel by Alfredo are $25.

Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-9500 or visit www.baystreet.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.